Dindigul · Tamilnadu

Jilebi Krishna Iyer

Legend has it that a huge rock (kal in tamil) right in the middle of town shaped like a dindu (a pillow) is probably why the town got its name -Dindu-Kal. A town of historic significance, has the iconic ‘Malai Kottai’ or the Hill Fortress. This was built by the Madurai Nayaks during 1605 AD. These photos were shot atop the top the hill fort. A good 15-20 minute climb takes you to the top. Be rest assured you’ll be blown away by the spectacular views of the town.I am in Dindigul to explore the food around this region.

One of the arterial roads ‘Santhai road’ leads me to the famous ‘Jilebi Krishna Iyer’. A sweet shop that has been around for more than 50 years, it is known for its Jilebis. As I approach the store, I am in for a little surprise. Little did I know our humble jaangiri is known as jilebi is rural south india. The people in the store and I debate over whether it is Jilebi or Jaangiri (me supporting the latter). To resolve the issue, I decide to explore their kitchen to unearth the secret of the South Indian ‘Jilebi’.

The kitchen screams from every nook and corner. A common feature that stands out in all these old quaint kitchens is that they do not use firewood, gas or electricity to fuel the stove. Instead, they use rubber resins or the leftover waste from match sticks. In this case they use the outer shell of the groundnut. I chat up with one of the owners Mr. Vijaykumar who personally explains to me how their Jibebis are made. Whole urad dhal and rice is soaked in water and ground to a paste and put in piping bags and deep fried. Here are some photos that give you a glimpse of the kitchen where these beautiful, decadent Jilebis are born.

Click on here to see how the jilebis are made.

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